In general, I am not a fan of the Wah Wah pedal. Don’t get me wrong, I think songs like Voodoo Chile (Slight Return), Surfing with the Alien or Bulls on Parade are some of the greatest things ever to come out of a guitar, and they’re each a direct result of the wah effect. My problem is for every amazing wah-influenced song, there are 5,000 terrible ones. I’m sure you could say the same thing for delay and some other effects too, but the wah effect is such a distinct and prevalent sound that it’s easy to abuse and overuse it, often times to cover up what would otherwise sound like garbage. Wow, Tyler, bitter much? Yes, very bitter. But you know I’m right.
All that said, a man (or woman) needs his (or her!) wah pedal to play more than just hyper-speed, sloppy pentatonic riffs. It’s a necessary tool to have for all types of music, from funk to metal and everywhere in between. I’m not a big endorser of multi-effect wah pedals. In other words, I don’t think that the wah effect is important enough to need three different types of wah sounds built in, with different buttons or knobs to adjust the EQ for each. The effect just isn’t that vital to a guitarist’s rig (unless you think it is, in which case, good for you). With that said, I present to you the most simple, elegant wah pedal out there: The Vox Crybaby Classic V845.
The V845 has a fairly dark sweep on the EQ of the overall wah effect, highlighting the bass frequencies of your tone, and allowing for creamy and rich overdriven attacks, rather than the sometimes tinny, trebly whine of other wah pedals. The sound of this wah pedal is reminiscent of the late 1960’s era, flavoring the tone of your output with a bit of a deep growl, while still maintaining a clear distinction of what you’re actually playing, rather than burying it under the effect. I find that it works equally well on clean and gain channels, which is a hard thing for a wah pedal to do. I’ve played many different wah pedals, from Crybaby’s to Bud-Wahs to Bad Horsies, and the Vox V845 is more versatile than all of them.
There is no true bypass, but that’s an easy mod to make if you’re really desperate for it. A great trait of this pedal is the construction — it’s built like a tank and will last for years. For wah and volume pedals alike, you love to see that, since those pedals tend to get the most weight on them when in use. That fact paired with the $70 retail price tag makes this a no-brainer if you’re looking for a wah pedal to use occasionally (as it should be!) rather than constantly. If you want to drop some more dough for a ‘better’ pedal, you can look into the other Vox models in this line, but if you want my advice, there isn’t a huge difference, and I think your money could be better used to invest in a higher quality overdrive or delay pedal. You can also mail me a check. That’s always an option.
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